Canadian Pizza Magazine

How to hire the right staff: checklist (part 1)

Diane Chiasson   

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How to hire the right staff: checklist (part 1)

Finding the right people is not easy, and hiring can be one of the most frustrating aspects of running your pizzeria.

Here are important tips on how to hire the right employees for your pizza restaurant.

Basically, the first step before the hiring process begins is to clearly define what you need from each position and to identify the skills needed for each role. Make sure your job descriptions really fit the requirements of the position and are as specific as possible. You should definitely write down all of your wants and needs on paper first, then rank your main characteristics from most important to least important. Developing a proper job description is not the most exciting task, but it will help you identify your business’s real needs.

When you are ready to search for your new employee, it’s time to create a job posting. Describe each position very carefully. Letting potential applicants know what to expect from the get-go will reduce time and effort spent interviewing unqualified applicants. Your concise and detailed ad should describe your company brand and culture, as well as your restaurant’s concept, style of service and hours of operation: Is it high-end, targeted at families, sophisticated or fun? Write down any other relevant aspect of each job description.


Ask your current employees to recommend strong candidates from their networks: it can save you time, money, and headaches. You should also ask colleagues, friends and family members to pass the word around that you are now hiring. These connections are a great way to quickly find prospective employees who are already verified by someone you trust.

Consider adding a new page on your website with a colourful banner at the top saying, “Work for the best pizzeria in town.” Include a contact form at the bottom of the page and this will ensure that you always have plenty of candidates sending their information.

Other online resources to check out are Craigslist, LinkedIn, Monster, Indeed, colleges, high schools and community centres, and also some events and festivals. Don’t forget to post flyers on your windows and in local coffee shops, grocery stores, libraries and bookstores.

In order to streamline the interview process and prioritize objective evaluation, you must first develop a clear picture of what kind of special person would be the ideal fit for your pizzeria and job responsibilities. Creating a list of standard questions will ensure you don’t forget to ask the right questions. You should ask the following questions:

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • What is your greatest strength and your greatest weakness
  • What made you want to change workplaces at this time?
  • What do you dislike about your current job?
  • Have you ever worked in a similar restaurant?
  • Why did you apply here and not other restaurants?
  • What do you know about our pizzeria? Have you dined at our place before?
  • What kind of restaurant experience do you have?
  • What is your favourite and your least favourite part of working in a restaurant?
  • What qualities do you think you possess for this job?
  • What things do customers do that you dislike?
  • Are there any customers you would refuse to serve?
  • Give me an example of when you gave excellent customer service.
  • How would you deal with a demanding or angry customer?
  • What do you do in your free time? What are your hobbies?
  • Have you ever had a major conflict involving your co-workers? How did you handle it?
  • What does being a team player mean to you?
  • If your shift ended at 5 p.m. and your replacement hasn’t arrived by 5:15 p.m., what would you do?
  • How do you feel about working an extra shift if asked?
  • What would you do if you knew a fellow co-worker was stealing?

Look for more tips in part 2 of this article in a future issue.

Diane Chiasson, FCSI, president of Chiasson Consultants Inc., has been helping food service, hospitality and retail operators increase sales for over 30 years by providing retail merchandising programs, interior design, branding, and more. Contact her at 416-926-1338, toll-free at 1-888-926-6655 or, or visit

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